OO AH ALCHEMY GUIDE TO:
What are hydrosols?
A hydrosol is a botanical distillate that contains the complete energetic and aromatic signature of a medicinal plant, like a hologram. These aqueous solutions preserve the most ephemeral qualities of a living plant along with a wide array of volatile medicinal compounds, setting them apart from other aromatic sprays. On a biochemical level, hydrosols contain hydrophilic plant acids, cellular plant water, and micro-drops of aromatic essential oil that are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and aroma-therapeutic. This form of preserving medicinal plants is an ancient art that has been practiced by alchemists and herbalists for four thousand years.
What are hydrosols used for?
Hydrosols deliver the medicinal constituents of plants to the body/mind/spirit.
Like our bodies, hydrosols are water-based, making them highly biocompatible, easy to absorb, gentle, and effective. As a skin tonic, their natural acidity restores the optimal pH balance of the skin. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties keep skin clear, calm redness, and reduce irritation.
Inhaling the aromatherapeutic compounds support and balance our nervous systems which leads to an increased capacity to harmonize the psyche and the body. Regular use helps ease mental tension and supports us in our efforts to overcome stress, anxiety, fear, and depression.
Each hydrosol carries with it the spirit medicine of the specific plant, the memory of the place it was growing, and the intention with which it was created. In energetic medicine, they are utilized for invoking meditative states, cleansing stale energy, bonding people together, and connecting to our core nature.
Steam distillation is alchemical process of transformation that captures the life force of the plant in liquid form.
Distilling for a true hydrosol, with all its therapeutic benefits intact, is quite distinct from the liquid that is created as a by-product of mass produced essential oils. True hydrosols of the highest quality are distilled from the freshest plants possible in order to avoid losing the volatile hydrophilic molecules to evaporation. In most essential oil production, dried plants are distilled in stainless steel under high pressure yielding an inferior plant water because the water soluble compounds had evaporated before the distillation process took place.
The plants and water must be carefully harvested with intention, to ensure the purity and integrity of the source material. Our process of distillation is slow and thoughtful, to coax the full range of aromatics from the copper still and into the finished hydrosol.
Distilling is an act of creation. Each distiller’s unique approach leaves a signature on the finished hydrosol. We distill in small batches over many hours so that all of the intricate facets of the botanical will remain in the resulting hydrosol.
The Magic is in the Process
EARTH Our process starts before we harvest. As Qi Gong practitioners, we communicate energetically with the living plants and make offerings to each plant spirit. This ensures that our harvest is carried out with integrity and respect for the Earth, a frequency that is present in the finished hydrosol.
WATER We gather spring water from the purest local sources possible.
METAL The alembic still acts as a womb for the distilling process to occur and the elemental copper imbues anti-microbial properties.
FIRE Encouraged by the heat of a gentle flame, the freshly harvested plants release their volatile molecules into the water in an alchemical dance.
AIR The resultant steam carries the hydrophilic molecules to the copper condenser coil where the steam cools and becomes hydrosol.